Italian Fascism became an extremely important phenomenon under the reign of Benito Mussolini during the Second World War. With a run of 22 years, Fascism and its creator became the focal point of Europe during this time. Many Italian citizens, as well as critics believed that Fascism could be a third option, or the in between of Capitalism and Communism, two ideals that Mussolini refused to accept. With the Allies landing on the shores of Italy in their advance to Fascist capital, Mussolini fought for his ideals while the Allies aimed to liberate the country and the citizens who did not follow Mussolini’s government. Why did Italy change from a fascist government to a new government in the siege of Italy during WWII between 1943-45?
Before 1860 Italy was a collection of independent states controlled by other European powers or the rich noble families of the region. After Napoleon’s defeat in 1815, the Congress of Vienna split Italy into eight independent states with major influences from the surrounding powers of Spain, France and especially Austria. Uprisings against the state governments swept the country, but were suppressed by the Habsbergs1 in Northern Italy. This however, was soon to change. Giuseppe Mazzini, Count Camilo Benso Cavour and Giuseppe Garibaldi organized and inspired the people of Italy to unite and support a solid constitution which was not only key to unification but gave long term stability to Italy.
King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy appointed Mussolini to be prime minister before the march could take place. However, Mussolini did not officially become dictator until the year 1925. He had previously compromised with parliament until he declared himself dictator of Italy in January of 1925. Mussolini’s doctrine of Fascism is a spiritual concept that emphasizes the importance of man using all his energy and being aware of all his problems. It also describes that man can form and mold his own world through his free will.
Italyhad been left completely fragmented by the settlements reached at Congress of Vienna in 1815. The congress had divided territory among the victors of the Napoleonic Wars. Italy was divided up, but most people wanted to see it re-united as one country, including Garibaldi. In 1815, Italyfaced three obstacles to unity. The first was the Austrian occupation of Lombardy and Venice in the North and the northeast of the Italian Peninsula.
Trans. Luigi Ricci, revised by E.R.P. Vincent. New York: Signet Classic, 1999 Muhlberger, Steve. "Italy in the Time of Machiavelli".
The rulers of Parma, Modena and Tuscany, overthrown during the war, were to be restored to their states.” (Tankard, 2002) The Kingdom of Sardinia annexed Parma, Modena, Tuscany and Romagna. Garibaldi wanted the rest of Italy conquered, therefore he set out with his army. In Sicily they were able to gain control quite easy. Then he set out to Naples to conquer it. A great battle was fought in Volturno against the Austrian King Ferdinand II who fled and surrendered Naples to Garibaldi.
With the fall of the Empire after the death of Theodosius, Italy was then attack from neighboring civilizations in the north and west. These invasions soon lead to the rising of power in individual city-states (Defusco). The citizens of the cities abolished the ideas of feudalism and searched for their own identity. Their searching lead to violent acts amongst themselves in determining who should govern, but despite the fighting, each city contributed greatly to the economy and helped to raise the cultural energy of Rome (Defusco). By the year 1861, a unified Italy was... ... middle of paper ... ...e the beginning of its unification, Italy has battled with the differences of the north and south.
Eds. G. Logan and R. Adams. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989. Nelson, Eric. “Utopia through Italian Eyes: Thomas More and the Critics of Civic Humanism.” Renaissance Quarterly.